The Chevy The Corvette is widely considered the finest automobile to come out of the United States, and vintage examples are highly sought after by collectors. In production since the 1950s, the magnificent model has always remained special for being the very first American sports car. The darling of young car enthusiasts is the mid-engined C8 Corvette, but for those looking for real gems, Chevy undoubtedly produced some of the most tempting and sought-after Vettes of the 1960s – the golden age. American Performance Vehicles. The Chevrolet model has had its ups and downs over the years, however; GM nearly dropped it in the mid-1950s, with sales declining, while the Malaise era caused its horsepower numbers to drop to an all-time low of just 165 horsepower.
The Chevy Corvette began to regain its glory in the mid-1980s and today has become a formidable sports car capable of taking on the best in the world. Yet rare Corvette classics from the 1950s and 1960s attract more collectors to auction rooms than any other American car, including muscle cars. But even for the most dedicated collectors, obtaining these renowned and iconic American masterpieces is no longer a reasonable option without bottomless pockets. The proof is these 10 Chevrolet Corvettes, which are already worth a fortune.
ten 1953 Chevrolet Corvette – $304,000
Few Corvettes are as rare as the first model of the 1953 Corvette C1; production totaled only 300 copies. All were made in Polo White and fitted with a 3.9-liter “Blue Flame” inline six-cylinder engine generating 150 horsepower. Given the rarity and general belief that the first example of something often holds its value well, today their prices are quite high.
An example of Condition #1 is valued at $304,000 by Hagerty, a figure often exceeded at auction. Car #003 sold in 2006 for the incredible sum of $1.1 million. Additionally, in 2014, the Barrett-Jackson auction house fetched $660,000 for car #118 – a largely original convertible with just 9,260 miles on the odometer.
9 1971 Chevrolet Corvette ZR2 – $450,000
The ZR1 moniker has always been synonymous with the most capable Corvette of every generation. Intended for road and track use, it has always positioned itself above the track-ready Z06. In 1971 Chevrolet introduced the Corvette ZR2 as the successor to the already lesser known 1970-1972 ZR1 Stingray. Only 12 copies of this high-performance were made, including 2 convertibles.
The 1971 ZR2 package was only $1,747 while bringing the same optional extras as the ZR1 package, but for the 454 LS-6 engine. As Hagerty reported, they carry an estimated value of $350,000 to $450,000. In 2019, one of the two convertibles sold for around half a million.
8 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 – $646,000
Within the realm of Corvettes, the L88 Corvette package is one of the “holy grails”. Only available between 1967 and 1969, the package transformed the Corvette into a legend on the track. Chevy produced only a limited run of 116 unique L88 Corvettes for 1969.
Officially, it was supposed to be rated at 430 hp, but in reality, it powered nearly 550 horsepower, allowing it to sprint a quarter mile in under 11 seconds. Today, owners should expect $646,000 or better at auction (Hagerty).
seven 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 “Cistern” – $681,000
The 1963 Chevy Corvette featured the iconic split rear window. It could be explicitly opted for track competition use with the Big Tank Z06 package, which brought benefits such as a 360-hp L84 fuel-injected V8, close-ratio 4-speed manual transmission, large anti-roll bars, better brakes, and heavy-duty shocks and springs.
A standout feature of the package was the large 36.5-gallon fiberglass fuel tank that minimized gas fill-ups—a huge advantage in track racing. With the Z06 package only available for the coupe body style, only 63 1963 Corvette Z06 Big Tank Split Window Coupes were made. According to Hagerty, a sample Condition Concours is worth $681,000.
6 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L89 – $1 Million
The 1967 Corvette L89 is not a car you see every day, even at auction. The additional optional package for the C2 Corvette model was only available the last year of the short-lived 2nd generation. The total number of copies sold with the L89 package was only 16, and their value today is estimated at $1 million.
What made the L89 option so special? Larger exhaust valves increased the L71 V8’s output by 25 hp to 475 hp, while the L89 package’s aluminum cylinder heads reduced curb weight by 75 pounds (34 kg) in the front, the L71 mill becoming lighter than Chevy’s cast-iron 327. turned the base Corvette into a lightweight race machine.
5 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Pininfarina Rondine Edition Concept – $1.6 million
Italian design firm Pininfarina’s Rondine Corvette concept, commissioned by Chevrolet, debuted at the Paris Motor Show in 1963. Thereafter, it resided at the Pininfarina Museum until 2008, when it was offered for the first time and probably the last time for sale, for a staggering $1.6 million.
It has been designed for maximum simplicity and functionality. Featuring prominent Pininfarina design cues from the era, it was still reasonably easy to identify as a Corvette. The unique body was based on a 1963 C2 Sting Ray chassis, designed to be lighter and more aerodynamic. The Rondine concept has a 327cid/360hp V8 mated to a 4-speed transmission and power brakes.
4 1969 Chevrolet Corvette ZL1 – $2 million
Only two people checked the box on the 1969 ZL1 order sheet, making it the rarest production Corvette ever. And there is a good reason; it was crazy expensive. The ZL1 option, replacing the L88 big-block V8, added an additional $6,000 to the Corvette C3’s $4,781 base price. And that is without air conditioning or radio included being a track only machine.
Not that buyers can listen to the radio anyway, with the ZL1’s 427 cubic-inch (7.0-liter) all-aluminum engine pumping out 430 hp with a fearsome roar. But those were just numbers on paper; dyno tests showed it was capable of making 585 bhp. Virtually a unicorn among collector Corvettes, it has an estimated value of $2 million.
3 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible Rebel Race Car – $2.86 million
Among racing Corvettes, it is one of the most popular and acclaimed racing cars. In its heyday, it took GT class victories at Daytona and Sebring races (the same year) and won an IMSA championship. The feats are even more impressive when you consider that unofficial, self-funded hobbyists performed it without factory backing or major sponsorship.
The Florida amateur racing team’s livery isn’t to many people’s political taste, but it was actually a swipe at a rival Corvette racing team whose car also featured a car-themed design. stars and stripes. In 2014, it fetched $2.86 million at auction through Barrett-Jackson, thanks to its famous racing status.
2 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 – $3.25 million
The 1967 Corvette L88 package model has a higher collection than other L88 package years as it was the last model of the legendary C2 with a more attractive body style. It came with the most powerful engine for the 1967 model year, producing 560 hp using 103 octane racing fuel. Evidence of its performance priorities, the exclusion of radio and air conditioning equipment.
According to the archives, it is the rarest L88, with only 20 examples ever produced. They weren’t even announced. Hagerty’s price guide value for a 1967 Chevy Corvette L88 convertible in #1 condition is $3.25 million – a figure surpassed by an example that sold for $3.85 million.
1 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport – $6-8 Million
The 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, codenamed “Project Lightweight”, was the first model to carry the “Grand Sport” designation. His main intention was to beat the legendary Shelby Cobra and represent the United States in international racing competitions. While initially 125 units were to be built for racing homologation, only 5 were made in secret as GM grew stricter with its factory-backed racing ban.
They are ranked as the most valuable of all Corvettes made, with an estimated value of $6-8 million. The ’63 Grand Sport was powered by a 377 cu in aluminum V8, chosen primarily to save weight. Engineered to the nth degree, its output of 550 hp exceeded that of most big blocks of the time.